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Category: Hyundai
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Experience:  L1 Advanced Level Diagnostics Specialist
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Hyundai Sonata LX: We are looking at buying a used 2006 Hyundai

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We are looking at buying a used 2006 Hyundai Sonata (LX) w/ one owner who did regular maintenance in the almost 6 years that he/she owned it. It has 131k miles; should we hold out for one that has less miles? This car fits our budget; we test drove this car and really liked its handling. What should we have a mechanic check specifically because of the 131k miles? What could we expect to require repair or replacement? We are buying this for our almost 17 year old teen driver and would like her to keep it for the next 5 1/2 years (last 1 1/2 of high school and 4 years of college). Thank you for your help!
Hello and thank you for trusting us with your Hyundai question, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you today.

Usually regular checks on any used car include the major items first then the minor items. Major items include the engine, transmission, suspension and brakes. Minor items include the interior,body and electronics. Even though the mileage is a little bit high for that year but it doesn't mean that the vehicle should be stayed away from, If the vehicle was maintained properly it would last alot more than you'd expect. The only breaking point is the inspection I'd say, Definitely have an experienced mechanic inspect the vehicle, looking at the vehicle while it's on the road is only 50% of the inspection, Putting the vehicle on the lift at a shop is the other 50%, you can't really see how the car is until you look at the bottom of it and see what is hidden there, If you find something wrong that doesn't mean that the owner is trying to sell a lemon, but they might not even know that the car needs something, It's very important to have a mechanic drive the car and inspect the car on a lift, Even if you have to pay for the inspection do that, if the car has a problem it will cost you alot more once you buy it to fix than to not buy it and have to pay the inspection fee.

I will give you a piece of advise, Always explore your options and don't look at one car only, look around and shop around before you decide that this is the best option for you, Look at both dealerships and private sellers, Make sure that you explore all the possible options available. Even though the car you are looking at fits all your needs, it doesn't hurt to look for other options.

Personally I would like to buy a car that has normal miles, Not low and not high. The standard miles per year for a car is between 12,000 - 15,000 miles per year, So your vehicle could have around 90,000 miles to be considered normal mileage and I will explain why I said that. Low mileage vehicles usually are known to have dried parts, Accumulation of dust everywhere and usually are abused due to short trips hence the low mileage, People with low mileage vehicles tend to under maintain their vehicles because they say that they barely drive the car so no need for maintenance. High mileage cars usually have the most wear and tear but their engines and transmissions are usually in good shape, but other components of the vehicle are wearing out. Usually high mileage vehicles are very well maintained because their owners know that they drive them alot and will maintain them very well so they would last. Normal mileage vehicles are usually at the middle, not too much abuse from very short trips and lack of use, and not too much wear and tear. THe maintenance on normal mileage cars are usually kept up as the manufacturer specifies.Having said that If I were you I would consider this vehicle as an option but I would look more before committing to an inspection and buying it, It would be nice to find a similar vehicle with around 100,000 miles since that would be normal miles. Also always ask for the reason of sale when buying from a private seller, If the reason doesn't make sense then don't buy it because that's a good sign that they are hiding a problem with the car, But when the reason it I've had for 6 years since new and I think it's time to buy another new car, that is a reasonable reason to sell.

I hope I have given you some information, If you have any other questions or need more specific information please let me know
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have been looking for about 2 months-both private (Craigslist), dealers, and online (cargurus etc.) Craigslist-usually not enough info (no pictures of interior etc) or the car is already sold; dealers-want way too much; and online-the ones that are reasonable are usually too far way to check out personally although we did take a 7 hour round trip to check a 2006 Sonata GLS out-including having a mechanic check it out. Car was going to need repairs, not as clean as represented on the phone, and the dealer (a small used car lot) was defensive. It also drove alot worse at 95K than the one w/ 131K. It's been frustrating to say the least. So now that we have this 131K car that we like (but haven't had checked by a mechanic yet) so I am trying to anticipate the things that could go in the next 45K miles while my daughter is driving it to see if it would be worth buying it.

In new car standards it's not really too much miles at 131k, Of course you are buying a used car so it's not going to be perfect, However what you want it to be is not abused,safe and reliable which is possible at that mileage. Expect the vehicle to possibly need a little suspension work, possibly brakes and tires in 45K. That is the items that we know it will need, Now for the other items It will happen, You might have a few check engine lights here and there which shouldn't be a big deal since the vehicle was maintained properly by the original owner.

If you had done your search and you like this vehicle then I would say it's time to have your trusted mechanic inspect the vehicle, expect it to need a few items, Discuss these items with your mechanic or you may come back here and discuss them with me, Every vehicle will need some repairs when bought used but some repairs might not be as nessecary and you'd want to delay for a later date after the purchase.
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